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Why Free Will Is Real


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About the Author

Christian List is Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Fellow of the British Academy.


In Why Free Will Is Real, List does as advertised, advancing a novel, intriguing view of free will and making a thoughtful case for the thesis that free will, as he conceives of it, is real. This book is a pleasure to read. -- Alfred Mele, Florida State University
An original and challenging new contribution to contemporary debates about free will. After making a compelling case for the irreducibility of different explanatory levels of reality, Christian List argues that free will requires indeterminism at the psychological level of explanation, but not at the physical level, where it is compatible with determinism. His arguments in support of these claims address a host of potential objections and include insightful appeals to new developments in the logic of agency and branching time, among other novel arguments. -- Robert H. Kane, The University of Texas at Austin
Many philosophers have suggested that we may be causally determined at the neurophysiological level, but not at the psychological. List is the first to work out a detailed proposal of how this might work, and of how it can underpin an account of free will. Developing ideas from theories of causation and of counterfactuals, it provides an incisive and accessible introduction to contemporary thinking about how we might be free in a causally-determined world. -- Richard Holton, University of Cambridge
Accessible, clear and convincing...List's carefully crafted argument may help many of us sleep more soundly, being further assured that we can choose how to live our own lives. -- Ellie Lasater-Guttman * LSE Review of Books *
List argues that free will is not explained away through science by looking at the activity in our brain...A wonderful defense of free will accessibly written for readers new to the topic. * Library Journal *
Well argued and admirably sets out the challenges to free will that, when coupled with its clarity, make it an excellent gateway into the contemporary free will debate. -- Logan B. Weir * Review of Metaphysics *
A fresh defense of the existence of free will against those of its skeptics who claim that free will has no place within a scientifically respectable worldview...There's much to admire and recommend in List's book. It's pithy, clear, and well-organized while managing to provide highly original and thought-provoking arguments. -- James Goodrich * Journal of Moral Philosophy *

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